Posted by: jessica | October 17, 2011

Understanding Media Usage in New Ways

Why are we reading these three articles together for this week’s class?  Mass-media agenda setting, the two-step flow of communication, and hot and cold media are all seemingly different concepts.  However, taken together we can start to form a better understanding of our digestion of the news through mass media.  The idea that the mass media largely set the agenda for what they think is important to the world at large combined with the theory of “opinion leaders” then spreading those ideas to people who are less interested is quite interesting.  Throw in the idea that the medium through which the message is conveyed is hot or cold, passive or participatory, and you have quite a load to think about.  Examining political campaigns, party agendas, controversies, catastrophes and crisis, and celebrations from the perspective that each of these theories promotes, throw those conclusions all together, sort out the discrepancies and common themes and you might discover something all together new.  I am still processing the amount of information coming at me from these three readings.  I know they will fit together to form some new understanding and I can certainly see where this is going but it’s all nebulous in my mind.  Indeed, I am looking forward to the class on Monday.

 

Questions for discussion:

How do these three concepts work together to help us better understand mass media and its implications on important information?

How can we use that knowledge to be more discriminative in our digestion of media?

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